Drainage problems

Drains, pipes and sewers

Who deals with drainage and sewerage problems depends on the location of the drain/sewer.


Flooding should always be reported, even if it has subsided. Who you should report to depends on the severity of the flooding:


In emergencies where flooding threatens to cause injury or death, you should call 999 and ask for the Fire and Rescue Service.


Contact Anglian Water who will either be able to deal with the issue or advise further on who to contact and what to do.


Flooding on roads and pathways should be reported to Northamptonshire County Council via the Highways web pages.


You can report other instances of flooding or potential flood risks to contacting Northamptonshire County Council using the above telephone details.

Council house tenants 

If you live in a council property, contact us and we'll make arrangements to clear the problem.

Contact us if you live in a council property.

Private drains and sewers

Diagram explaining sewers and drains

These are the drains and sewers in the immediate vicinity of your home, office or other property. Each property has a drain which connects to a private sewer.

Drains are the property owner's responsibility, even if the drain crosses into another property's boundary.

The sewer that your drain connects to is the responsibility of all property owners that make use of it, regardless of property boundaries.

Public drains and sewers

There are public drains dotted around Northampton that help remove surface water from streets and roads and connect to the main sewers.

These main sewers carry excess water and waste from properties to a sewage works and are the responsibility of Anglian Water.

Identifying and dealing with blockages

If you have a problem you can try to investigate by lifting any inspection chamber covers on your property, to determine if there is a problem in the drain or private sewer.

If the blockage is affecting an appliance or sink in your home then you should contact a plumber or drain-clearing contractor. 

It may be worth asking neighbours to see if other households are affected. This may indicate a blockage in the sewer.

Remember, sewers are the responsibility of all households that make use of them, so see if you can agree to carry out the works yourselves and agree to share the cost. 

If you believe the blockage is in the public sewer then you should contact Anglian Water

Simple steps to avoid blockages

In order to avoid a blockage the following items should not be put down drains, sinks or toilets:

  • Nappies
  • Sanitary towels
  • Plastic bags
  • Leaves and rubbish
  • Oils and fats
  • Food scraps
  • Grout, plaster, cement, paint and other builders waste
  • Wet wipes (facial, baby etc.)